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Violence Policy Center Offers 50 Ways To Reduce U.S. Gun Violence

With a divided Congress unlikely to reach consensus about gun violence prevention, leadership and innovation on gun violence prevention must come at the state and local levels, contends the advocacy organization the Violence Policy Center.

The organization says that, "State legislators, law enforcement leaders, and state attorneys general must take the lead to find the pathway that most effectively protects their residents in collaboration with concerned communities."

It cites "substantial evidence that states with comprehensive and effective gun laws have fewer incidents of gun homicides, gun suicides, and unintentional shooting deaths."

On the 10th anniversary of the Newtown, Ct., school massacre, the center offers 50 proposals that it says can help reduce the high level of gun violence.

The report is presented in seven sections: regulating access to firearms, enhancing firearm regulation, regulating specific types of non-sporting firearms and ammunition, protections against suicides and unintentional shootings, enhancing firearm product safety, improving public understanding of gun violence, and victim protections.

It was written by Gary Klein, an advocate and litigator, who said that, "State leadership in implementing proven and effective solutions that reduce firearm death and injury is essential.” Klein was responsible for gun safety and gun violence prevention projects at the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General.

He also publishes the blog "Shattered -- The Gun Accident Journal" at

In the section on public understanding, the report says that, "More complete and comprehensive data should be collected and analyzed for all firearm deaths, injuries, and crimes to aid in the understanding of firearms violence and effective approaches to decrease it.

"In cases of lethal victimization (homicide, suicide, murder/suicide, unintentional death, justifiable homicide) data collection should include as much detail as possible about the circumstances surrounding the incident. This should be publicly available and could include relationship, location (e.g., room in home, business, motor vehicle, sidewalk, etc.), geographic location (including county-level data), race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, concealed handgun permit holder status (if applicable), and connection to other crimes." evaluate any resulting increase or decrease in gun violence.

The report calls for states to "mandate a single form of gun mortality, injury, and crime data reporting for all jurisdictions in order to facilitate linking and evaluation of data on a statewide basis. A single data dictionary should be mandated in order to create a consistent form of data reporting (for example, gang involvement). When possible, multi-state consortiums should consider mandating a single form of data reporting in order to generate a larger database."


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